Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Strawberry Avocado Smoothie (Kid-Approved, Non-Dairy Recipe)

This recipe happened because I was looking for a way to get more veggies into the kids (and me). Their two favorite smoothies both contain only fruits. None of us really like plain avocadoes, and only one of us likes guacamole, so I'm always looking for new ways to slip those in.

This recipe is approved by both the five-year-old and the twelve-year-old, and believe me, they are just as picky as most kids. :-/ (I did, however, wait until they had both finished the smoothie and asked for seconds before I told them it had avocado. The 5yo tried to make a face, but I told him he was busted. He'd already talked too much about how he liked it.)


2 cups frozen strawberries
1 avocado
1 cup orange juice
1 cup unsweetened apple juice

Makes about 3 12-oz servings.

Friday, May 16, 2014

"The Best Smoothie Ever!" Dairy-Free Smoothie Recipe

I adapted this recipe from the Tropical Fruit recipe in Superfood Smoothies, and when the five-year-old tasted it, he declared it "The best smoothie ever!" So when I was trying to figure out what to call it, that's what I landed on. ;-)

2 cups Fruit medley frozen mix (the one with strawberries, pineapple, mango, grapes, and peaches)  (It's frozen fruit; you're not going to get an exact measurement. I just use a two-cup measuring cup and fill it until I can't anymore.)

2 bananas

2 cups unsweetened apple juice

1/2 teaspoon Camu powder
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp hemp seeds

Mix in blender and enjoy!

The boy likes this one ever better than the Fruit Punch smoothie, and that's saying something.

Makes about 30 oz.

Disclosure: This post does contain an affiliate link.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mushrooms, Tomatoes, and Feta Cheese

I have no clue what to call this, because it was a "make it up as I go" dish. I had some feta cheese that I needed to use, and some mushrooms that I bought yesterday, but didn't use last night. I'm not good at adding herbs and seasonings as I cook, so this dish can definitely use some more seasoning, even if it's just salt and pepper to taste. Or add a jar of pasta sauce for extra flavor. I would have if I'd had one. I did add about a tablespoon each of oregano and parsley, and it was good, but it could use more of something.

I used leftover long grain brown rice. If you don't have any leftover rice, you can add one cup of rice to two cups of water and boil. You can also use pasta (gluten-free or regular) instead of rice.

I added the cooked rice, one 8-oz package of sliced mushrooms, two 15-oz cans of diced tomatoes, and pressed one garlic clove into the skillet. I heated it (about 20 minutes on low heat), then added the package of feta cheese, and heated for another 10 minutes. 

I think this would be great with some spinach or kale added, not just for flavor, but for color, too.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fruit Punch Smoothie (Dairy-free)

I've recently started making smoothies every morning, and I was thrilled to discover the book Superfood Smoothies, which not only uses whole foods in the recipes, but also has many dairy-free options. In fact, I'm not sure any of the recipes use animal products, but I could be wrong. This fruit punch smoothie recipe is my adaptation of the one in the book. The author uses coconut water, which my older son isn't too fond of.

Fruit Punch Smoothie
1 - 10oz bag of frozen strawberries (or about 2 cups if you buy the giant bags)
2 - bananas
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 cup unsweetened apple juice

Blend and enjoy. Makes about 3 12-oz servings.

If you want to add a nutritional punch to your...um, punch...you can add any or all of the following without changing the taste of your smoothie.
3 tablespoons hemp seeds (or flax seeds, or combination)
1 tablespoon acai powder (or macqui berry powder)
1 teaspoon wheatgrass powder (or green superfood powder mix)
1/2 teaspoon camu powder

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Semi-homemade Vegetarian Spaghetti Sauce

In my quest to be healthier, I've started using more "superfoods", foods that have high nutrition content for their serving size. I've also been just plain eating more fruits and vegetables. Cutting out meat is a related choice, but not one that I'm pushing on anyone - not even my family. I still cook meat for them. For tonight's dinner, though, I was going to try something new.

This is probably actually vegan, but I'm not making that claim. I thought I had seen a recipe in one of my vegetarian or vegan cookbooks for hemp seeds in pasta sauce. Turns out I hadn't, so I went on an hour-long internet search. That didn't help, either.

I found several make-from-scratch alfredo sauces, and a few other recipes, but I couldn't find anything that would tell me how much hemp seeds to add to a store-bought jar of marinara sauce. I didn't need an exact amount, but I wanted enough to add some protein to the dish, but not so much that it was overwhelming. I had hopes that the kids would at least try it, so I didn't want to freak them out. They heard me mention carrots, though, so that didn't work out.

For those who don't know, hemp seeds are packed full of nutrition, and no, you can't get high on them. They contain no THC.

This isn't an exact recipe, but having it here will help me find it later, and maybe it will help someone else out, too.

I sauteed an onion, and chopped up the three carrots we had in the fridge to add to the pan.

Once the onions were soft, I poured in the jar of Muir Glen Italian Herb sauce, and pressed a clove of garlic into the pan. (It was a large clove, but adjust to your preferences.) I was guessing on the hemp seeds, but I used 1/3 cup, and it was just right.

We also had some kale that needed to be used, so I chopped that up and added it to the sauce, just long enough to soften it a little. (I don't care for raw kale.)

Add to your favorite noodles (I use gluten-free), and serve.

I didn't think to take a picture, but I'll try to remember next time, and add it to this post. ;-)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Fitbit or C25K, Anyone?

My knee still isn't at 100% but I'm dealing with this
when trying to fasten ALL my jeans, not just my favorite pair that I was lamenting last spring.

So I ordered a Fitbit One at Thanksgiving. I do have a regular pedometer, but it's huge and I kept knocking it off. It was also hard to wear in the summer, because it made an unsightly bulge under my t-shirts and tank tops. The whole reason I don't wear tight pants and shorts is to cut down on the unsightly bulges.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fitness Challenge Wrap-up

From what I'm hearing, the challenge went much better for you than it did for me. LOL I was just getting to the point at which working out was something I wanted to do every day... or at least remembered to do every day. Then, on Day 20, I sustained an injury that brought everything to a screeching halt. 

I tried on the jeans last night. Those still don't fit. I tried on a dress this morning that I purchased a few months ago. It would have fit back when I was working out three years ago, and it was my "goal" dress. It still doesn't fit, either. It's as annoyingly close as the jeans. I took measurements this morning, and none of those have changed, despite the fact that I can see more definition in my arms, calves, and waist. I have no clue if I've lost (or gained) any weight, because I don't own a scale.

I have noticed that since I stopped working out, my energy level has tanked again. :-(

So, while I didn't reach my ultimate goal (get back in those jeans!), I did meet two of my goals:
1) Make exercising a habit
2) See enough progress to keep me moving

I'll keep up with the arm workouts, and start stretching soon. In a few weeks, I hope to be back to regular workouts. I'll have to start all over with building up my time. Maybe I'll have another challenge. I can't use "spring" in the title, though. Maybe "Summer" something. How about "Summer" Us Need to Get in Shape. Or maybe that's just the Southerner in me coming out....

How did you do? Did you see any progress in any areas? Did you enjoy the group challenge (although it was a small group)? Do you have any suggestions for things to do differently if I host future challenges (exercise or others)?